Landscapes can counteract growing cost of healthcare

The way we design and manage our landscapes can have hugely beneficial impacts on public health. Extensive evidence shows that interventions in the landscape can play an important role in delivering cost-effective improvements in health and well-being.

This is the key message that will be highlighted by Dr Val Kirby, Fellow of the Landscape Institute, at the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Green City Conference. Supported by the Landscape Institute (LI), the event will take place on Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at One Great George Street, London, UK.

Presenting the findings of the LI’s position statement, Public health and landscape: Creating healthy places, that links good-quality landscapes to improved public health, Dr Kirby will outline: the five principles of a ‘healthy place’, the impact of the built and natural environment on health, and how investing in landscapes can counteract the growing cost of healthcare in the UK. She will also outline the LI’s key practical recommendations for integrating landscape in the delivery of positive health outcomes.

Dr Kirby says:

“The evidence linking the positive impacts that good landscape design can have on people’s health and wellbeing can no longer be doubted. It is now up to professionals on all sides to pull together to make a real difference”.

Dr Kirby is a landscape and heritage adviser, as well as being a Fellow of the LI and member of the LI’s Policy and Communications Committee. She chairs the working group that produced the LI’s position statement Public Health and landscape: Creating healthy places and is also a Secretary of State appointee on the Cotswolds AONB Conservation Board.

She joins fellow speakers at the conference all promoting what can be achieved in terms of urban greening and why it matters so much. Complementing Dr Val Kirby’s talk, Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of Physicians, will outline his views on the benefits of plants and gardens to health and how health authorities can use this to help patients even during financially challenging times.

Following the conference, a Green City Dinner will be held on board HMS Belfast, London on the same evening of 1 April 2014 and there will also be a Green City London Tour on 31 March 2014.

Planners, local authorities, health authorities, the construction industry, landscape architects, green space experts, landscapers and the horticultural industry interested in ‘Growing green and healthy places’ can book their places at www.greencity-events.org.